Atlanta History Center / History Center Competition


Location: Atlanta, GA

The Campaign for the Atlanta History Center recognizes that history shifts as additional stories are included in its telling and as the narration becomes more complete. The inclusion of more points of view and frames of reference reveals what was once not apparent, transforming the story.

The reorganization of the interior begins with the ‘re-centering’ of the entrance to align it with the dramatic view of the campus grounds at the back of the building. This major axis is supported by a secondary axis leading to the existing Olympic Gallery. Classrooms are arranged so that they can function as two generously sized spaces, or one very large program space. Another secondary axis leads to the stairs to the café below as well as to the Ballroom and its enlarged pre-function space with direct access to the deck overlooking the campus grounds.

The building addition accommodates the new entry, a bookstore directly adjacent to the entry, and a pleasantly shaded patio. The patio, also directly accessed from the café and the classroom/ multipurpose spaces offers outdoor seating for the café and the opportunity for providing programs that also utilize the classrooms. Its adjacency to the combined classrooms/ multipurpose space and the Allen Atrium make it an attractive pre-function space for revenue generating events.

The re-imagining of the museum and the transformation of the visitor experience acknowledges the alternative perspectives that each person brings to their visit to the center. It also recognizes the role that multiple stories play in the shaping of history. These perspectives inform an organization of space that makes the center more accessible and usable.